PHOENIX, Ariz. | Sept. 14, 2021 — On the heels of the Biden administration’s announcement advising workplaces to encourage employee vaccinations, a comprehensive business survey conducted by Arizona State University’s College of Health Solutions, with support from The Rockefeller Foundation, found that 93% of the 1,143 U.S. employers surveyed in August currently require or encourage employee vaccinations. In addition, How Work has Changed: The Lasting Impact of Covid-19 on the Workplace reveals that more than 7 in 10 employers are testing all or some of their workers, indicating a continued commitment to regular testing alongside the vaccine and other safety measures, and 40% had an employee resign because of nonexistent Covid-19 safety policies in place at work (e.g., masking, testing, vaccination, or remote work options).
“Employers have an increasingly critical role in ending the pandemic, and our survey shows they clearly understand this,” said Mara Aspinall, project co-lead, professor of practice at Arizona State University’s College of Health Solutions, and advisor to The Rockefeller Foundation. “In March, we found that 89% of employers were planning to require or encourage vaccinations when possible, and 58% were planning to require them. Our latest data shows that employers more than followed through on these plans, supporting the nation’s effort to fight the Delta variant head-on and ensure that all employees are safe.”
As fully-vaccinated rates surpass 54% of the country’s population, the latest survey in a series of three over the past year also found that among U.S. employers surveyed:
- 60% offer incentives to encourage employees to get vaccinated, reflecting previous survey data finding that 65% of employers planned to incentivize employee vaccinations once they were available.
- 72% require or encourage employees to provide proof of vaccination, an increase from the 63% of employers who planned to do so in March.
- 72% are testing all or some of their workers, a slight increase from the 70% who were testing employees in March—and indicating a continued commitment to regular testing alongside the vaccine and other safety measures.
- 40% had an employee resign because of nonexistent Covid-19 safety policies in place at work (e.g., masking, testing, vaccination, or remote work options), and a further 16% had an employee resign because existing safety policies were not stringent enough.
- 76% said that employee mental health well-being has become a top priority for their business—close to the 79% who stated this was the case back in March.
“The pandemic has given us all a new understanding of the value of workplace safety,” said Andrew Sweet, managing director of the Covid-19 Response and Recovery at The Rockefeller Foundation. “This survey confirms that a reassuring majority of employees and employers are actively responding to the risks of the pandemic with the tools that are proven to keep us safe.”
The survey also found that employers are adjusting to a new work reality:
- A majority expect working from home to continue, with 64% intending to allow their employees to work from home full-time through the end of the year. This is a slight decrease from 66% of employers who said so in March.
- The hybrid work environment is still most popular, with 46% anticipating their future work environment to be a hybrid of in-person and virtual work—up from 39% in March. 31% anticipate in-person work and 23% anticipate a virtual work environment.
- Office downsizing expectations have subsided. 20% plan to downsize now, compared to 22% of employers in March, 6% plan to no longer offer a physical workspace, and 17% plan to increase physical workspace.
- Expectations continue for employees to be on-site part-time. 67% of employers believe that employees should be in the office at least 20 hours per week, down slightly from 73% in March.
In addition to the 1,143 U.S. employers surveyed, it was also fielded among employers in the United Kingdom, 91% of whom require or encourage employees to be vaccinated. You can find results and the complete data in the final report and ASU’s interactive dashboard here.